Auto Insurance Coverage
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With Direct, you've got choices every step of the way. If you're not sure what to select or how certain coverage fits into your life, call one of our representatives or visit one of our local stores. To help you choose what's right for you, we've listed some of the typical types of coverage found in an auto insurance policy.
The information we've provided gives you a general overview of auto insurance coverage. Some definitions may not be applicable in all states. All insurance coverages are subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions in the auto policy. In the event of any conflict between these definitions and the provisions in your policy, the terms of the policy will control. Please always read your policy carefully and be sure to ask your agent if you have any questions.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
If you cause an accident that injures another person, this coverage will pay for their medical expenses (not yours) and if needed, pay for your legal services.
Real life scenario: You're driving down the road and rear-end the car in front of you. No one was seriously injured, but the driver of the other car is complaining of wrist pain and the passenger has a cut on his forehead. An ambulance takes the driver and his passenger to the emergency room, where they are treated and released. The police issue you a citation for Failure to Maintain Proper Distance between Vehicles--Following Too Close. Depending on the amount you select for your Bodily Injury Liability limit, your insurance would pay for the ambulance fee, the other driver's x-ray, the passenger's stitches, and other related expenses.
Property Damage Liability Coverage
If you cause an accident, this coverage will pay for the damage done to the other person's property. It does not pay for repairs to your own vehicle.
Real life scenario: You're driving down the road and rear-end the car in front of you, which then swerves and hits someone's mailbox. The police issue you a citation for Failure to Maintain Proper Distance between Vehicles--Following Too Close. Depending on the amount of your Property Damage Liability coverage, your insurance would pay to have the other car repaired or replaced, as well as to repair or replace the damaged mailbox.
If your car hits another object (like a tree or guardrail), if it overturns in an accident, or if it is hit by a "hit and run" driver, collision coverage will pay for it to be repaired or replaced. See also the definition for "Deductible."
Real life scenario: It's raining and the roads are slick. You lose control of your vehicle and roll into the median. With collision coverage, your insurance will pay to have your vehicle fixed or replaced.
Comprehensive Coverage (Other than Collision Coverage)
If your car is stolen or damaged in an event other than a collision (like a fire, natural disaster, or contact with an animal), this coverage will pay for it to be repaired or replaced. See also definition for "Deductible."
Real life scenario: You're on a road trip and a bird smashes into your windshield, putting a huge crack in it. With this coverage, your insurance will pay for your windshield to be replaced.
Collision and Comprehensive coverages often include a "Deductible." A deductible is the amount you would pay out-of-pocket, up front for the damage to your car. The amount of damage over your deductible will typically be covered up to the actual cash value ("ACV") of your car. Note, your car's actual cash value takes into account the price of your car when you purchased it, as well as the age and condition it's in at the time of the accident. Typical deductibles range between $100 and $1,500. Usually, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium for Collision and Comprehensive coverage will be.
Medical Payments Auto Coverage
In the event of an auto accident, no matter who is at fault, this optional coverage will help pay for medical, hospital, and funeral expenses incurred by you and those insured under your policy. Typically, medical payments coverage moves with you, meaning that you're covered if you're walking, riding in a friend's car, or on public transportation. It applies to accidents that occur in, and out of state.
Real life scenario: You're walking home from work and are clipped by a turning car. One of your legs is fractured and you've got a bad concussion. Depending on your level of coverage, your Medical Payments coverage would help cover the cost of your ambulance ride, x-ray, CT scan, cast, and hospital stay.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
This coverage will help pay for certain medical, hospital, and funeral expenses, and/or lost wages incurred by you, residents of your household, passengers in your insured vehicle, and pedestrians when injured in an auto accident regardless of who is at fault. PIP coverage is not available in all states. Where available, it may be subject to state specified limits.
Real life scenario: You're injured in a car accident and have to spend three days in the hospital. As a result of being in the hospital, you miss work and your kids have to stay overnight with their babysitter. Depending on your PIP limits and deductible, your PIP insurance would help cover the cost of your hospital stay and related medical expenses, and the expenses you incurred for childcare, as well as your lost wages.
Uninsured Motorist Auto Coverage (UM Coverage)
If you're injured in a car accident and the driver who is at fault does not have liability insurance, cannot be identified, or in some states, does not have sufficient insurance to cover your claim, your uninsured motorist coverage will help pay for the medical and related expenses you incur. In some states, UM coverage will also cover your property damage.
Real life scenario: You're in your car with your best friend. While stopped at a red light, your vehicle is rear-ended by a truck. The truck speeds away and there are no other witnesses. You and your friend are injured and your car's bumper is destroyed. Subject to your policy limits, your UM coverage would help cover the cost of you and your friend's medical treatment. And, depending on where you live, it could help cover the cost to repair or replace your damaged vehicle.
If your vehicle can't be driven due to a covered accident or loss, this coverage will help reimburse you for the cost of a rental car. This coverage is optional, and can typically only be purchased if you also purchase comprehensive and collision coverage.
Real life scenario: You're involved in an accident that is covered by your policy and you have purchased rental reimbursement coverage. You're OK, but your car isn't. The driver's side door has been smashed in and the hood of your car won't stay latched down. Your rental reimbursement coverage would help with the cost of renting a car while your vehicle is being repaired.
This coverage is optional and covers or reimburses you for emergency towing costs (up to the limit selected) when your covered vehicle cannot be driven due to a mechanical breakdown or an accident.
Real life scenario: You get in your car to leave work but your engine won't start. Depending on the level of your coverage, your towing and labor coverage would help reimburse the cost to have your vehicle towed to the nearest repair facility.
Accidental Death Coverage
This coverage is optional and pays a $5,000 death benefit to your survivors if you were to die as a result of a covered accident in your vehicle.
Real life scenario: While driving home from work, your vehicle is struck by a semi-truck. Sadly, you are instantly killed. With accidental death coverage, your insurance would pay $5,000 to your spouse or children.
For more on auto insurance coverage, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
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